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Food Advertising

On a sunny Saturday I was stuck in Saturday’s lunch time traffic on my way to The Mall (shopping mall), listening to the radio….
When I heard an advert about sausages. The play-actor in the advert (in this case a stressed and how it sounded to me, young mum) was promoting the sausages as a way to keep her children quiet so that she can have a moment of peace. That is when it became clear to me that the food advertising nowadays is mainly based on fast, convenient and unfortunately unhealthy food. We rarely see or hear healthy, nutritious food in TV/Radio etc. adverts (and if there are any those are usually fake “healthy” foods). Shouldn’t those kind of marking sources be used as an education channels?

Back to this sausage advert – at no point during the 20 second advert the mum was referring to the nutritional values of the product (in this case we all know that the sausages are not really a healthy option, unless they come from a good source like direct from farmers) or taste, texture etc. All she was happy about, is that her children were quiet…. For a moment.
Is that the only important factor for the majority of the population? Do we (as a society as a whole) actually care what goes into our children – our future? And…. Are we blindly trusting the food manufactures? Food Marketing? Food Advertising regulators? Or is it all just about savings? Big profit for the food industry? What is a “healthy” dose of junk food marketing? If any…..

I never thought or paid much attention to the marketing of junk food and sugary beverages (or any food adverts). I researched the food advertising regulations in the UK and found this recent study. Very interesting! So even though there are regulations in place, how and why do junk foods/beverages (including so-called “diet” drinks) get predominantly advertised? And why are there not tougher measures being introduced? Are governments in developed countries scared of the food industry? Scared to loose the big income which than they have to spend (or overspend) on high NHS costs (public health insurance)?

In my opinion the food adverts broadcast should include healthy foods, explaining their nutritional values, what vitamins, minerals are present in that food, why are those vitamins/mineral good and what they do.
Since doing my Sports Nutrition course I learned how important a well balanced nutritious diet is. What role vitamins and minerals play in our bodies and how important those are for human health, and what happens if our bodies don’t get enough of those vitamins/minerals. It is only the basics I’ve learned so far but even they help me to make the right choices while shopping, reading the labels for hidden “stuff”  and creating healthy, balanced and nutritious meals/snacks.

I do understand that not everyone has time, money or particular interest in nutrition to do such a course. That is why it is so important to use the food advertising as an education source to reach to the general population (as it seems that we spend a lot of our free time in front of the television anyway). And then there is the money factor, especially in the times of recession and a double dip recession. BUT shouldn’t we invest more in our health and our children (our future) rather than into the big fat and already rich fast-food manufacturers? Shouldn’t we better support our local farmers and growers who can you tell exactly what is in their products. Clearly that is the way for healthier and happier lives….

Irina

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Posted by on 22 November, 2012 in Health & Wellbeing

 

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Eggs = Performance Enhancers

I have been avoiding eggs (or was very careful consuming on regular basis) for years. We all heard it before, eggs are too fat, too many calories, cholesterol rich. In short, not good for you if eaten on regular or daily basis, an so on. Well you get the picture.

It has changed for me few weeks ago as I discovered and researched that eggs are actually very good for you, especially if you exercise on daily basis. And during my Sports Nutrition course this has been confirmed and here is why:

Eggs are packed with vitamins and minerals, which are essential for human health. Eggs contain outstandingly balanced nutrition with many B vitamins, Vitamin A, many minerals, and Omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fat). And are low in fat and calories! (did someone say OMG!) And of course a perfect source for protein.
But why does my title say “Eggs = Performance Enhancers”? Let take a look at three B vitamins in a bit of detail.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) – also called “The Carbo Burner”
Thiamin plays an important role in the metabolism of energy in all cells because it’s a coenzyme (TPP and TTP) which is essential for energy production. In short, Thiamin releases energy from carbohydrates. Good source of Thiamin is brown rice, pulses, cereals, vegetables and not to forget our good friend the egg.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – also called “The Fat Burner”
Same as Thiamin, Riboflavin also releases energy from carbohydrates. Riboflavin works effectively with iron which helps to promote red cells blood which transport oxygen. The coenzyme Flavin from riboflavin is needed for the metabolism of carbs, fat and proteins = energy source.
Good source of Riboflavin is milk, beef, spinach (which also contains iron) and our good old friend the egg.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – also called “Feel the Burn”
Niacin is essential for growth and healthy skin. And like Thiamin and Riboflavin, Niacin also releases energy from carbohydrates. Niacin is used in two coenzyme which are involved in energy production from carbohydrates, protein and fat (and alcohol, but I don’t count alcohol as a “good”source of energy).
Niacin can be found in meat, nuts, beef, chicken and yes, you are right thinking, the egg.

So here is a little bit of scientific evidence that eggs are actually very good for you and classed as Super Food. (or shall we call it “Wonderfood”!?)

Happy egg eating!

Irina

 
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Posted by on 21 November, 2012 in Health & Wellbeing, Super Foods

 

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Beetroot – Athletic Performance Enhancer?!

One of channel 4’s ‘Food Hospital’ episodes got us much more interested in Beetroot recently. We always enjoyed eating it in salads or roasted with other vegetables, but after seeing that it could actually enhance performance, we thought it warranted more research and maybe some ‘testing’ of our own!

Beetroot is a great source of antioxidants and nutrients (including; magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, iron & vitamin C). It is also rich in nitrates which the body uses to dilate the blood vessels, thus reducing blood pressure. So during exercise it can effectively increase blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscles! Long term it can help prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems, as well as being a very healthy food to consume as it contains very little fat and is carbohydrate rich.

I found details of a study, conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter, England, which compared the effects of acute use of beetroot juice (one serving taken 2.5 hours before exercise) and chronic beetroot juice consumption (5 and 15 days) on blood pressure, the oxygen cost of submaximal exercise, and performance in an incremental exercise test.
They found that a single dose of beetroot juice was as effective in lowering blood pressure, reducing the oxygen cost of submaximal exercise, and boosting peak power in an incremental exercise test as 15 days of beetroot juice consumption!
I also found that past studies have shown it can reduce blood pressure in as little as 24 hours. Astonishing findings, effectively meaning that consuming beetroot regularly, or at least during the days leading up to a major event or training session can improve your body’s athletic performance!

We conducted our own mini-trial… Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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New Breakfast Routine

After publishing my recent blog about breakfast, I was thinking about my habits. On one hand is great that I got into habit for having breakfast every single day. But on the other hand I made it to my habit that all I have is porridge, oats, muesli for my breakfasts. I rarely introduce variety (apart from berries, fruit, nuts, seeds). And I did quick calculation and came to the conclusion – too much carb in one go. As I want to lean out to run faster (and look more athletic), a change is needed! I need to break this habit! But how and what? What can I have that is quick, easy, nutritious, stabilises my blood sugar and provides me with enough energy? I do love fruits (especially grapefruits), but they don’t fill me up for long enough.

In the last few days I did a lot of reading and researching. I found out that majority of runners (and others a like) do eat eggs (either for breakfast or as a snack). I was always avoiding eggs and thought they were fat, full of cholesterol, not good for you at all. I knew the egg whites are great as a protein source but the egg yolk that what was making me very sceptical. But I did my home work (as I always do) and check out what I found (hold to your seat! or maybe some of you already know that):

“The perfect complete protein, these little capsules of nutrition are an excellent low-fat (!), slow-release energy food (OMG!), stabilising blood-sugar levels (!) and keeping hunger pangs at bay (WOOHOO!). Low in fat and extremely versatile, eggs contain all the essential amino acids needed for peak fitness, staving off aging and boosting brain power.”

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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